After a bit of shopping in nearby Westfield to hide from the rain and dinner at Wagamama we made our way to the Shepherds Bush Empire, a charming run-down and shabby music hall turned theatre turned concert venue. Build in 1903 it still reeks of history with its creaky chairs and the smell of beer puddles.
I'm a sucker for atmospheric places like this and was enchanted even before the concert started.
At 8 o' clock Max Raabe and his Palastorchester entered the stage and from then on it was simply fantastic and very variegated. We sat in the middle of the first level so had unobstructed view to enjoy, the audience was probably 70% English and 30% German.
What followed where two hours of old favourites in German and/or English, some less known songs, some of his own compositions and some popsongs turned into "his" style.
He is a very good singer where you never fear he might not reach a certain note. Changing from being the charming but awkward dandy to a sensitive chansonnier, from touching to fun, modern to old, danceable to a perfect sung quartet. Not one minute was boring, not one joke embarassing. His style and humour are simply unique and work no matter in which language.
When half the theatre was starting to cheer "Mein kleiner gruener Kaktus" I felt more patriotic then 100 football games or stupid anthems together will ever achieve.
They left stage, the crowd kept cheering..."This is our last song"...the left side shouting "No!", the right side shouting "Nein!. Wonderful.
A truly perfect night out! My third Max Raabe concert and definitely not my last.
(btw, the tickets were much cheaper compared to Germany)